Impressive Bridge Design
WSP served as lead design firm to the joint venture team that constructed the US$531 million, cable-stayed Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge over the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina (US).
Replacing two obsolete Cooper River bridges, the bridge has a main span of 1,545 feet (470 metres)—the longest cable-stayed span in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to eight traffic lanes, the bridge features a pedestrian walkway/bikeway providing a magnificent view of the surrounding area. The project also included two extensive roadway interchanges connecting historic Charleston to the town of Mount Pleasant.
The structure features two visually striking diamond-shaped concrete towers that are protected from ship collision by large rock islands. The towers are 573 feet (175 metres) high from water line to their tops. Approximately 8,000-foot-long (2,440-metre-long) high-level approach spans utilize composite steel girders and reinforced concrete piers. The structure was also designed for hurricane wind forces. The entire main line structure includes the main cable-stayed structure and approaches totalling approximately 13,200 feet (4,000 metres). The bridge opened to traffic on July 16, 2005, one year ahead of schedule.